Tiger SafarisThe Royal Bengal Tiger is the main attraction at Ranthambhore National Park. Currently home to more than 30 tigers in itís 400 odd sq km, Ranthambhore provides one of the best habitats to view and photograph wild tigers. Also, Tigers here are active in the day time and more tolerant of tourist jeeps, which makes sighting far more rewarding. In addition to tigers, Ranthambhore boasts of an incredible variety of animal life including leopards, sloth bears, sambar, spotted deer, nilgai, crocodiles as well as more than 250 species of birds, both endemic and migratory.
Safaris can be either on jeeps (gypsies) or via larger vehicles (canters). Both need to be booked in advance on the Rajasthan Government website www.rajasthanwildlife.com It is better to books seats well in advance, since tourist traffic can be very heavy in Ranthambhore, especially in peak season.
Birding ToursBirding tours can be arranged with a trained guide in two areas - water holes and scrub/cultivated land on the periphery of Ranthambhore National Park, where one can spot Painted Sand Grouse, Indian Courser, Sand Pipers, Kingfishers, Cranes and Ducks
The other is Bhuripahadi village, 40 kms from Sawai Madhopur, set on the confluence of the Morel and Banas rivers. A beautiful setting for birds where one can also see larks, pipits, lapwings, mynahs, beeeaters, ibis and the Thick-knee to name just a few.
In addition to birds, one can also spot foxes, hyenas, jackals and Wolves (with a hefty dose of luck)
Camel/Horse SafarisFrom Bhuri Pahadi, we can also arrange safaris on camel or horseback, around the peripheral areas of Ranthambhore National Park. These can be 1-2 hours depending on the preference of the tourist.
History and ArchitectureThereís a lot more to Ranthambhore than the tigers, and indeed the forest. The 11th century Ranthambhore fort is a stunning edifice, built on top of a steel mountain, with some great views of the forest itself. The ruins of the fort are well worth a morning visit with easy access via a tarred road. Brace yourself for a bit of a climb though Ė it takes 20 minutes to get to the top via a well maintained set of stairs. Gypsies/jeeps can be easily arranged to take guests to the fort.
In addition to the fort, keep your eyes open for several structures within the National Park itself. Prominent among these are ruins of Rajbagh, the kingís summer palace set on a huge lake and Jogi Mahal which has been converted into a forest guest house (currently not in use) You can also see gateways and chhatris (stone umbrellas) used as a mark of respect dotted across the forest and itís not unusual to see tigers in these man-made structures, making the sighting that much more more special.
Village VisitsWe can also arrange visits to villages surrounding Ranthambhore, for guests to get a taste of rural life in India. One such village is Bhuri Pahadi, Hemrajís native village, about 40 kms from Sawai Madhopur.
Guests can stay in Hemrajís ancestral home, eat home cooked food, spend time with the local folk and watch birds by the river.